Rav Shimshon Raphael Hirsch says that the word zachor (in Exodus 20:7), meaning remember, is the statement telling us "to keep the Shabbos in our minds and hearts, and give verbal expression to its holiness."

Rav Hirsch is quoted as such in the Artscroll Siddur's commentary on לכה דודי (on the words, "שמור וזכור בדבור אחד") which can be found in the interlinear Artscroll Shabbos Siddur, page 71.

Does anyone know the original source where Rav Hirsch says this?


1 Answer 1


To paraphrase R' Hirsch's comments on Sh'mos 20:7:

The Talmud (Sh'vu'os 20b) remarks that the words zachor (remember) and shamor (guard/observe) were said at the same time. This indicates that these two aspects of Shabbos are intertwined. The Jewish Sabbath does not entail mere spiritual recollection. Such an approach would rob Shabbos of its essential character.

For the Jewish people, the obligation to remember the Shabbos (zachor) is an obligation to perform acts that focus our hearts on the significance of the day. From this, the reason behind many of the laws of Shabbos becomes clear. First of all, "recall it over wine at its onset" (P'sachim 106a), which is the mitzva to sanctify the day with kiddush...

R' Hirsch's comments can be seen more fully in Hebrew here:

  • Why would you include the Hebrew on this English-language site? I can understand including the Hebrew when it's the author's original, so as to catch any nuances that the translation omits, but here it isn't. (He wrote his commentary in German.) +1, though.
    – msh210
    Commented Jan 21, 2015 at 19:09
  • @msh210 I included it because it is more extensive than my partial English paraphrasing. If you think it's distracting, I'll get rid of the Hebrew and only leave the link to it.
    – Fred
    Commented Jan 22, 2015 at 8:42
  • No, I was just wondering. Seemed odd, especially since an English translation is widely available (but maybe not where you are?).
    – msh210
    Commented Jan 22, 2015 at 14:47

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .